The Camellia of Pillnitz - for durleybeachbum by billcody ()
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I know that you are a great lover of plants and gardens, and so I have a special gift for you, situated in Saxony: The Japanese camellia tree! Hope you enjoy!
For you all:
This tree should be the oldest japanese camellia in Europe, situated in the parc of chateau Pillnitz south of Dresden.
This legendary tree here should be one of the "Famous Four", one of the four camellia plants that were first imported from Japan.
After a popular legend brought the swedish botanic scientist KARL - PETER THUNBERG this plant together with three others in 1776 to Europe, especially to the KEW Gardens.
In these days Japan was reigned by the Shoguns, and Japan was totally closed to foreigners. Only the small island of Deshima was opened for dutch trading ships, and only a few japanese people were allowed to trade with the strangers. Thunberg had gotten a job by the Dutch Eastern Indien Company and so he could explore the japanese plants.
From the Kew Gardens in U.K. two plants of Camellia japonica were given away as presents to Germany: The noble houses of Hannover and Saxony (remember the saxonian house Wettin, where her Majesty the Queen is part of).
A fine story! We don`t know if this is the truth.
But we know exactly, that this plant here was planted in 1801 just at this place. That means: The tree is more than 200 years old, it is the biggest and oldest Camellia Japonica north of the Alps!
The plant survived a dozen floods from the nearby Elbe river, and the plant survived a fire in 1905, when in the middle of a cold winter the wooden greenhouse burnt down. Embedded in the ice from the firebrigade`s water, the plant survived and grew again in the next springtime...
In 1992, after the fell of the Berlin Wall, the tree got a brandnew greenhouse with a fully computerized micro climate inside. In summertimes the greenhouse can be opened and moved away. You can see it on the left side.
The tree is part of countless excursions from hobby biologists from all over the world.
Friends, hope you enjoy this story! Thanks for your interest and your comments.
Pic was taken in 2008 with Nikon Coolpix 8700
Image Comments (10)
Wow! Thankyou so much, Wolfgang., for showing us this amazing and venerable plant. That is a very clever fold away greenhouse. It must be a lot colder there than here on the South Coast of England. All of my camellias are outdoors all year round: I should have a problem if they were fast growing and got large quickly! If I was a traveller I should visit this!
I remember walking around the finr gardens at Pillnitz, the first time in '91 , which explains why we never saw this greenhouse. What I do remember are the lilac trees, which I think had been pollarded..and stupidly I looked but no photo. The gardens there are beuatiful and arriving by boat makes the visit more special. Thanks for evoking memories with this capture